We had a wonderful Christmas with our children but it's good to be back home on the boat. Hotels are OK but I much prefer my comfy bed and other luxuries here, the coffee's better too!
We collected Chico from the boarding kennels this morning and have moved out of the marina onto the 48hr moorings on the canal. I know many people like marina life but I hate it. I don't like being trapped in between other boats, looking out of our windows directly into their boat. I don't like having to keep the windows shut so that the boat doesn't fill with evil smelling smoke when one of the neighbours decide to burn their rubbish and I particularly don't like being woken up before the sun's up by the next door neighbour feeding the large flock of noisy ducks right under my bedroom window! I think I'd turn into a real grouch if we had to stay any longer.
One of the best things about Christmas for me is hearing from friends you haven't heard from for a while. We have friends over in New Zealand who have been suffering from earthquakes for more than 12 months and had another 4 large ones over the holiday period, but it's good to hear they are safe and coping with a very altered lifestyle. An old school friend of mine got back in touch after a couple of years and although her news was of having had a really difficult year with family illnesses and losses I hope we can continue to stay in touch more often. Let's hope 2012 is better for everyone.
It's time to plan next year's cruising but we really don't have any fixed ideas of where we want to go as yet. We tend to arrange things around boat and music festivals so we'll start by looking on the internet and see what's already on offer for 2012. If anyone has any recommendations I'd appreciate the ideas.